A graduate of Engineering and an undergraduate have been arrested in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital after their attempt to dupe a car dealer of a car worth N4.5m with a fake bank alert was foiled.
Olawumi Oladayo (25) and 22-year-old Chibuzor Ekesi(both pictured) were said to have gone to a used-car-lot at Ring Road area of Ibadan at about 11.30 a.m. on Friday, December 12, 2014 to negotiate the cost of a Crosstour car.
According to the car dealer (names withheld) Oladayo and Ekesi said they wanted to purchase the car on behalf of their father. The dealer said: “I looked at them and felt they could not have had enough money to purchase the car they pointed at. The car was the most expensive I had at my car stand and had only 3,000 mileage. The selling price was N4.5 million.
“I told them that I would like to see their father and they asked if I would like to speak with him on phone. They called someone who claimed to be the father and he asked me to go ahead and sell the car to them. I wondered how someone would want to buy a car he had not seen or test-drive, but the man said he was comfortable with their judgement.
“The two boys said that they had cash on them, showing me a bag they were carrying. I noticed that the bag did not have the shape of one with cash and when I touched it, it was soft, so I refused. They promised to pay into my account. They asked me to fill the tank of the car before they would return but I said that it was the responsibility of buyers to do that after payment.
“However, I was not comfortable with them so I alerted the police.”
The suspects did not deny the allegation. According to Oladayo who is from Orile-Owu, Osun State, “I have HND in Civil engineering. I finished in 2011 and served in Lagos state in 2012. I worked briefly with the company I served with but left when it had no contract. I live with my mother in Ibadan.
“I went with my friend to negotiate the price of a car at a dealer’s car stand. My friend had already told me how we would send a fake bank alert to get the car. I wanted to know how he would do it and it would work. When we got to the car, he demonstrated the way he would do the sms alert and on our way from the place, I told him I would not be able to do it because the people would recognize my face.
“We were called back by the dealer and they asked if we were still interested in buying the car. They asked us to test-drive it and while we were waiting, SARS operatives came to arrest us.”
Oladayo claimed that he recently met the other suspect. “This is my first outing with him,” he said.
Oladayo said he decided to join his friend because of financial constraints he had. “I bought an old Toyota Hilux from the company I served with but later sold it for N600,000. I lent a friend the money for a business so that he could share the profit with me. Unknown to me, the friend used the money for betting and lost.”
In his own confession, Ekesi (22), an undergraduate in university in the eastern part of Nigeria revealed: “I learnt how to send fake alert through one of my friends based in Owerri. His name is Obiyor Mark a.k.a. Abebe. Sometimes in 2013, he came to visit his friend at my former hostel. I used to chat with him sometimes and in the process, he introduced the idea of using fake alert to purchase cars to me and I bought the idea because things were hard for me. Abebe had once been apprehended by the police.”
Ekesi also confirmed that he was once arrested for the same offence. According to him, “I was at arrested by Surulere Division in Lagos. What happened was that I defrauded a man through a fake bank alert. I got his number from a newspaper and called him. We dialogued on phone. I sent N6.5 million alert on a Friday and the following day, on a Saturday, I sent someone to the delivery address I gave the dealer to pick the car. I promised to give my friend 10 per cent of the proceeds after I must have sold the car.
“We took the car to Owerri and it was given to Abebe to get a buyer. Unfortunately, my friend used my sim card to call his girlfriend while I was asleep and she was arrested. The lady led the police to my friend and they got information about me.
The police came to arrest me and I was detained for two and half months in Lagos. I was granted bail but was re-arrested and transferred to Abuja. I was granted bail again in September.”
On how he was doing the alert, the undergraduate said “There is a bulk SMS panel called SMS life which I subscribed to. This is what I use to send alert to bank accounts given to me.”